Alexa now allows for routines that start audio playback. So for example you can say “Alexa, start the radio” and it’ll start playing your favorite radio station from TuneIn on your Alexa. (You can’t use play radio for some reason)
Sadly, by default, the interface doesn’t allow you to execute these commands on a Sonos One or redirect the audio to a Sonos speaker.
But there’s a workaround:
If you want to play a certain radio channel on the Sonos in the kitchen: start by creating a new routine in the Alexa app:
- Set an Alexa trigger, eg “start the radio”
- Add a Music action
- Type out the name of the channel or track you want to play and set the source. For radio, it’s TuneIn
- Append the sentence “in the kitchen”, to redirect the chosen music to the Sonos speaker in the kitchen.
The screenshots above will probably explain it better.
This shows the main difference between Apple Siri/HomeKit and Alexa. Alexa allows for these kind of hacks. But it makes for a frustrating experience because the advanced features don’t always work as expected.
Siri is locked and doesn’t allow these kind of workarounds. But the basic audio features Apple promises do work right out of the box.
It’s iOS stable and closed vs Android tweakable but unstable all over again.